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THE ARCHITECT'S ANGLE
April 2016
Greetings!  

This month, we discuss project management and how your architect can be your strategic planning partner as well as your building and design expert. In our feature article "Project Management - Your Architect is There for You" we get to the heart of what project management entails and how it gets taken to the next level when there is a construction component involved. Our companion article, "Managing the Construction Phase" talks about selecting the right contractor and how your architect will help manage your project's construction phase to a successful conclusion.

Project Management-Your Architect is There for You

I have been a practicing architect for 30 years. Throughout my career, I have heard the terms "project manager" and "project management" thousands of times. Despite using these terms frequently myself, the actual definition of project management has always seemed a bit nebulous to me.
  
Perhaps this is because the term project management is used in almost every industry and as such, can have many different meanings.
  
OK. So let's look at the words project and management separately in search of some answers. Some dictionaries define project as "a plan or proposal for accomplishing something". A common definition for management is "the skillful or resourceful use of materials, resources and time". Therefore, project management could be defined as "the skillful use of materials, resources and time to accomplish something that has been planned".
 

Managing the Construction Phase

The seeds of a successful construction phase must be sewn at the earliest stages of a project. It starts with an owner bringing the right professional team to the table. An experienced architect/engineer team can help an owner establish a basic framework while a project is still in the embryonic stage.
 
The owner's program must be test-fit into its intended space. That same space must be thoroughly surveyed and evaluated by the professionals to determine if there are major physical and/or code obstacles which may make it logistically and/or financially difficult to develop. The key by-products of this process are the project budget and phasing plan. Any given project will fail long before its construction phase if its program is forced into an unsuitable location or if it has an unrealistic budget. With the right professional team in place, along with a tested program, budget and phasing plan, a good foundation has been laid for the development of the most important project element: the construction drawings and specifications. A detailed, well thought out and coordinated set of bid documents is the key to a successful construction phase and will usually result in "real" construction numbers being quoted by bidders.

We hope you enjoy this month's issue. Do you have questions or feedback about the information provided or regarding your facility that we can answer?  Contact us at info@jwbarch.com and we will be happy to provide you with any additional information you may need.  We want to continue to offer content that interests you, our readers. Please drop us a line and let us know what topics you might want to learn more about. As always, we love hearing from you.

Sincerely,

John W. Baumgarten, RA, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP
Principal & President

Michael A. Sciara, RA, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP
Principal & Vice President


About
Us

John W. Baumgarten Architect, P.C., headquartered in New York, is a full-service, regional architectural firm serving proprietary and not-for-profit organizations in the healthcare, education, commercial, corporate and public arenas.  The firm has been recognized for its work with senior housing, urgent care centers, skilled nursing, dialysis, community centers and more.  This award winning firm provides architectural design services to clients in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware and Florida.
Call us for a Complimentary Consultation at
(516) 939-2333 or email us at info@jwbarch.com